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What Does Courage Look Like in Your 20’s?

Don’t wait for someone to tell you to lead. Lead where you are.

When you are 25 and in your first job after finishing school, it may seem best to hold back and play it safe. Sarah came to me one day and asked me how to prepare to be a future leader in our company. She had already distinguished herself as a hardworking salesperson and she won our company’s highest sales award in her first full year on the job. I told her she needed to continue to master her current job and then focus on leading where she was.

Her response reflected many young and ambitious people in their twenties. “Is that my role? I am the youngest on the team.”

I told her she had to get used to being uncomfortable if she ever wanted to be a leader. Don’t wait to lead. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to lead. You need to be a leader now before someone grants you the title of leader.

Stepping out at those moments, when you are younger than others, builds your character. To step out like this requires Courage.

You need Courage:

  • To share with your boss or your team a new way of doing things when they are stuck

  • To have a difficult conversation with your supervisor even when they might not like it.

  • To stand up for a team member when they are treated unfairly.

  • To do the right thing, even if it could cost you something.

We don’t get good at anything without practice, and that includes exercising Courage. The leaders we all admire did not develop Courage accidentally. They made choices that forced them outside of their comfort zones. These are the leaders that inspire others to do more and become more. They are the ones who lead by their example.

They don’t have to be the loudest ones who put themselves in the spotlight. They get recognized as leaders because their actions will inevitably turn the spotlight their way. We will never become the leaders we want to be and we are called to be if we avoid taking action when we are uncomfortable.

Each time we make a choice, it becomes easier to make that same choice again. With each choice, we are getting closer and closer to building a habit – in this case, Courage.

If you are preparing for life after school or if you are already starting that life, Courage will be the fulcrum that helps you become the leader you always wanted to be, the leader you admire, the type of leader that will make a difference in the world you live in.

But you have to practice Courage. Practice doing uncomfortable things. Practice today. Practice this week. This practice will create the habit of Courage and prepare you to be the Leader of Character you can be.


  • What makes you uncomfortable?

  • What can you do this week to exercise Courage in spite of the discomfort?


“Would you follow you?” That is a critical question we all need to ask ourselves if we want to become Leaders of Character. Research has proven that people want to follow character. But where is your character today?

Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.

Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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